Deli Truck top of the class with 5 star rating

The Deli Truck has just received a five star rating after its last health and safety check from the Sevenoaks council. Inspections have been getting tougher and tougher over the last couple of years as councils around the country are cracking down on unscrupulous, badly trained and dangerous food outlets.

We are delighted that the local council recognises the hard work, time and dedication the Deli Truck takes – making sure that it gets its food to its guests as fresh as possible while maintaining high standards of personal hygiene with spotless kitchens and appliances.

Deli Truck, Harley Davidson at a brewery.

Yep it’s that time of the year again when members of the HOG (Harley Owners Group) make the pilgrimage to the Westerham Brewery in Kent to taste award winning beer and eat award winning food from the Deli Truck. We will be serving the HOG’s and any one else who wants to come along steaming rolls of Italian Porchetta with sautéed Rosemary potatoes. You don’t have to have a bike to attend and of course your more than welcome at the Deli Truck for a meal and a chat. The day gets underway at midday on the 15th of April and we will continue to serve our Porchetta until 4.00 pm.

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Deli Truck Porchetta half way through cooking

There will be some fantastic bikes on show and you can taste award winning Westerham Brewery Beer, tour their brand new brewing complex, have a bite at the Deli Truck and look at some fabo bikes – Does it get any better than that? Not in this universe…  We really look forward to seeing you.

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Harley Owners Group (HOG) rideout

Our Porchetta is cooked Old Style – using the complete Loin and Belly of Pork wrapped around fresh Italian herbs, pine nuts and sundried Tomatoes. We are pretty certain that we are only one of 3 Porchetta cooks in the UK who use the entire side of the pig as it should be done. Many other providers just use the belly of pork because it’s so much cheaper. On the Deli Truck we use the much more expensive loin and belly in one large roll, which makes the entire slice less fatty, but it also makes it more meaty.. it really is fantastic. And we source our Pork locally either directly from the farmer at Danemore Farm near Tunbridge Wells or though the famous butcher to the stars, Batchelors the Butchers in Sevenoaks.

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Deli Truck Porchetta served with sauteed potatoes

Bubbling Cauldron of Home Made Hot Chocolate

A great hit this winter has been our bubbling cauldron of hot chocolate. We were first asked to make hot chocolate for a Bonfire night party in London. And in true Deli Truck style we researched and tasted and researched some more to make the most extraordinary Hot Chocolate you could imagine. We used a mixture of 70 percent coco solids chocolate and milk chocolate from Lindt. You could stand your spoon up in this one. We have since been asked to make this for another 5 parties during the winter.

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Our hot chocolate Cauldron which keeps the contents hot and ready to serve with mini marshmallows.

Best steak ever and a bit about ageing.

This is not really a story about the Deli Truck, but what follows was such a wonderful foodie experience I have to share this with all and sundry.

We all know that ageing beef is what brings out the flavour and the quality of the meat. We also know that the only form of ageing is dry ageing – hanging in a temperature and humidity controlled cool room for up to 60 or even 100 days, with cool drying air circulating around a large prime cut of beef. Wet ageing in a tough plastic bag, with the air pumped out, is quite simply a revolting way to “age” beef as it has no contact with the air and so relies on anaerobic bacteria to tenderise the meat, which at times, can taste sour and watery.

But very few butchers dry age these days because during this very slow process, the cut of beef looses up to 20 percent of its weight as water evaporates away. This is what makes it more flavoursome and deeply red-brown in colour. Of course the water that evaporates, as far as a butcher is concerned is profit evaporating as well, as the weight of the cut decreases. This is the reason so many butchers will not dry age.

But on the few occasions that I have eaten properly air dried aged beef (I like it at about 40 days) it is a true revelation. The raw meat actually smells sweet, the all important fat is white but translucent and the entire cut has a wonderful nutty cheesy flavour and the good bacteria has done its job and slowly broken down the connective tissue and produced a super tender very very tasty steak.

The next thing that happened is that a few steak houses in the USA (notably David Burke’s Prime House in Chicago) started ageing their beef in cold rooms with a wall of Himalayan salt bricks stacked to the ceiling. This had a couple of profound effects on the beef – firstly the salty air being circulated around the large fridges has a slight anti-bacterial effect which means the beef can be aged for a longer time and secondly the salt produced a stronger drying effect and bizarrely a sweeter piece of meat. Recently a small number of UK meat producers have decided to salt dry as well.

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The beef ageing cellars at David Burkes Primehouse in Chicago. These ageing rooms are stacked with Himalayan Salt bricks.

So onto my special beef day – Late last week my foodie wife came home from a pre-Christmas visit to Fortnum and Mason with a 1 bone prime rib cut of beef from shorthorn cattle, off the Glenarm Estate in Northern Ireland. But here’s the revelation, the Glenarm Estate has started to age its beef with Himalayan salt bricks. This is not just sophistry – salt ageing really works. The beef smelt sweet and fresh with a slight mushroomy cheesy nose. The meat was dark and the fat translucent.

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Prime Rib from shorthorn cattle on the Glenarm Estate in Northern Ireland. This piece has been aged in a salt room for 28 days.

It was such a special piece of meat that I didn’t want to mess it up by overcooking, so I seared on top of the stove on all sides then put the pan in the oven at 180 for about 8 minutes. I put a temperature probe into the meat and pulled it from the oven when the core temperature reached 50 degrees. With a normal, supermarket, wet-aged, flaccid bright red steak this would be too rare – but in this piece of meat (after a 20 minute rest) this proved spot on. The ageing process had, to my eyes, part cooked the beef already. This was a wonderful special treat and a truly exceptional piece of beef. Well worth the trip to Fortnums to track down.

It’s also very expensive – this piece cost close to £30 pounds – but like all good things, you dont have to have it every day. I would gladly cut my red meat intake down to 5 or 6 times a year (instead of twice a week) so I could afford the best – and this is it.

NOTE: if you are well versed in cooking steak and use the finger prodding method to feel how it is done – you may have to change your methodology with meat like this. I found with this cut that the meat had lost so much water due to the ageing process that when prodded it felt very firm at all stages of cooking. So when it was very rare (checked with temperature probe) it felt almost well done. Something to be aware of….

NOTE: Always ask your butcher if his meat has been dry aged or wet aged in a bag (called the cryovac method) if it has been wet aged don’t buy it, but kindly ask if he can get dry aged beef. The more people that ask the more opportunity we have for getting better quality meat.

 

 

Feeding the grape pickers at the Squerryes Estate.

“Hi Dennis and Miri, Thank you so much for today.  The food was delicious, you really pulled the stops out.  All feedback was positive, seriously brilliant!”  Alisoun Hunter, Westerham.

“Thank you to all of our members and friends for helping with our harvest on Sunday. Food from  was the icing on the cake!”   The Squerryes Estate.

“A mention for the delicious pulled pork that greeted pickers!”  John Mobbs @GreatBritWine

A great day at the Squerryes vineyards in North Kent as professional pickers mingled with the “Friends of Squerryes” to pick some grapes, catch up and indulge in Deli Truck food.

These grapes will go to make the Squerryes Court award wining Methode Champenoise sparkling brut -with a perfect blend of 45% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir & 20% Pinot Meunier.

A strict rule, that guests had to pick grapes before they could have lunch from the Deli Truck was roundly ignored from the beginning. It was a great family day with many of the children loving the grape picking.

The estate asked us for good hearty food offerings to feed both the professional pickers and the “Friends of  Squerryes” pickers and their families. Our legendary pulled pork, gourmet hot sausage in a brioche bun and chocolate brownies with amaretto cream went down a treat.

As you can see we were truly in the middle of a paddock and like many of our events we are completely self sufficient with our own generators, onboard fridges, freezers, gas grills and hot water.

Also a special thank you to John Mobbs from the highly acclaimed Great  British Wine website for some of the photos (the good ones) on this post.

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The Deli Truck amongst the vines on a beautiful autumnal day @squerryes estate. With some of the “members of Squerryes” pickers enjoying their hard earned Deli Truck lunch. (photo – John Mobbs)

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The Deli Truck at the great grape harvest at the Squerryes Estate in Kent. Feeding the grape pickers and friends of the estate.

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The Deli Trucks famous 10 hour smoked pulled pork sandwich. Photo: John Mobbs

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Grapes ready for crushing @Squerryes Estate

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The deli Truck @Squerryes estate vineyards in Kent. getting ready to feed the grape pickers. (Photo: John Mobbs)

 

Rewarding buffet for charity

A wonderful charity evening at Herons Park in Lydd raised over £8,000 pounds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity (#royalmarsden). With black tie and cocktail dresses the order of the evening was glamorous and fun, with raffles, prizes and of course food from the Deli Truck. We donated out usual fee to this much respected and hard working charity and produced a buffet that went down a storm.

The Deli Truck worked to a very tight budget as the organisors and the Deli Truck wanted as much money as possible to go to the charity. We produced three hot dishes for 150 people – A Thai Sticky Pork belly served with freshly steamed rice, a Chicken Cacciatore with a robust home made tomato sauce and loads of mozzarella, and a Texas style 100 percent beef chilli. We also made three fresh salads, a cheese course with terrine, fresh fruit and of course a vegetarian option of stuffed peppers as well as many other tasty dishes.

Three cheers to Stacey Christensen the organisor of the event and Hanna Tarrant the manager of Herons Park for a fun evening that raised so much money for a very worthy cause.

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The Deli Truck Buffet at the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity Event.

 

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Cheese and Terrine on a Deli Truck Buffet for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

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A simple buffet for charity in Kent

Private party in grand home

From the Hostess to her guests, the morning after: “Hi everyone, Thank you all for your messages today. We had such a fab evening, so lovely having everyone here. J and I managed to sneak off around 2:15am, leaving the hardcore Michael Jackson fans in full thriller mode. I want to thank Dennis and Miri so much for catering for us last night. The menu was perfect and the courses were absolutely delicious. They both put so much time and effort into last night and it showed. Anyone planning an event must check out www.delitruck.co.uk, from deli truck to fine dining, I think everyone will agree, it was perfect.  See you all for the next one”
L & J,  Brasted, Kent

From a guest: “Such a fabulous evening, there were a lot of laughs and probably a lot of sore heads on Sunday. Thanks Dennis, Miri, the food was delicious!”  Vicki C-S

Our first private sit down dinner party of the 2016 season was a spectacular event – with guests  enjoying a lavish menu in a wonderful house. We were asked to produce a menu using quality ingredients for a group of “meat loving” foodies who all love their food and great parties. We were lucky that the hosts kitchen was large with much bench space for plating up, cooking and preparation. The dining room where the guests were seated on two large tables was a short walk from the kitchen down a front hallway. All in all, for in-house private catering, it doesn’t get better than this. For the event we had three staff in the kitchen and two servers in the dining room including a professional mixologist on the bar who double up as a waiter.

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Plating up the entree of hot smoked salmon (smoked over oaks and apple wood) on a pea and wasabi puree with asparagus and broad beans

The main course was Prime Rib-Eye roasted and then carved into single steak sized portions. We decided to cook the rib-eye American style, very low and slow, to maintain moisture and when cooked medium the pink was right through the joint. This does take exacting timing, when you are cooking meat at 100 degrees and then wanting at least 45 minutes resting. Two complete ribs were seared at a high temperature than placed in the low ovens 4 hours before service. Every ½ hour we basted in Marrow oil and took an internal temperature reading. At just over three hours in the oven the internal temperature of the meat reached 63 degrees. We retrieved the meat from the oven and rested under foil for  a hour. During this time we made fresh Béarnaise sauce and the marrow gravy, whipped up egg whites and them added to the already seasoned carrot puree for the carrot soufflé.

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Pre service briefing with the two wait-staff and kitchen staff in the hosts amazing kitchen.

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The Menu

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Scraping the bone marrow out of 8 large marrow bones. The marrow oil in the bottom of the pan after roasting was collected into a syringe and injected into the middle of each full rib-eye. The marrow chunks were  warmed with the roasted pan juices to made an incredible sauce for those who wished to have more than the home made béarnaise sauce.

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For dessert we were asked to do do something simple and refreshing – so we choose a home made lemon posset – which we made very tart and lemony. We dusted with corn flowers and crystallised rose petal – and served with a lemon biscuit and our home made crystallised lemon skin.

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The Deli Truck at secret beer festival

The owner of this pub is not big on advertising – in fact the Old House at Ightham is perfectly named – with no signs and no overt advertising this is just like an Old House.  It’s almost invitation only as Nick the Publican is holding a small (but perfectly formed) beer festival this week-end. The Deli Truck will there on the 29th of May from midday to 10 pm,  and we will be selling our favourites.

Our menu will include our top sellers. Our freshly made double cheese/bacon steak burger – our 10 hour smoked pulled pork – our cajun sea bass fillet and our Texas monster beefy chilli dog, with Korean spices.
The Old House Pub dates from the 17th century and is on the Campaign for Real Ale’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. The owner of this pub is known and respected for his dedication to real ale, with a continuously changing beer menu from many boutique brewers and some of the big ones as well.

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The Old House at Ightham – no signs, you can easily miss it when you drive past.

This is going to be a real fun day – a relaxed pub, great beer and Deli Truck food. Come and join us at Redwell Lane, Ightham, TN15 9EE, Kent

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This is a great pub – like pubs used to be, with a very dedicated group of locals who love the place.

On our Menu will be our usual favourites – our 8oz double cheese/bacon burger our home made pulled pork sandwich and our sea bass fillet on a panini and a new favourite our Texas style brat sausage topped with beefy spicy chilli – messy but sensationally robust flavours.

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The Old House at Ightham – beer festival Sunday the 29th of May from midday to 10pm.

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Del Truck Texan Chilli Dog

A glittering farm house “shared birthday” in the Weald of Kent.

Our host wanted an unforgettable shared birthday party – a 50th for his wife (she looked 35) and a 21st for his daughter. The venue was fantastic – a series of barns and outside dancing areas with an enclosed courtyard area for covered dancing and partying. Our client also wanted a fun festival feel to the event with a number of food trucks sited beside the main barn.

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The Venue four hours before the party begins

Our client wanted pre dinner nibbles for his 130 guests – so we started our preparation for the evening producing 500 individual canapés. We always make our canapés fresh, just minutes before they are needed, so they don’t wilt or loose their crispiness and flavour.

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Dennis preparing canapés on site for 130 guests.

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Piping Mackerel Mousse into Vol-au-Vente cases. very yummy – these disappeared very quickly.

We also supplied a whole Jamon ham for the party which we carved as requested by the guests – this was a big hit as you can see below. We worked with a very professional party organiser for this event –

Thank you for your kind words and importantly for doing such a wonderful job with the Deli Truck.  It has been such a pleasure to work with you over the weeks.  Your enthusiasm and knowledge left me in no doubt the catering would be a huge success.   The Deli Truck looked gorgeous and the food was delicious.  Thank you Dennis and Miri. I do hope we get the chance to work together in the future.”  Lizzie Smith

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Queue for the Deli Truck beside the whole Jamon – cut for clients on request. Beside is mini tubs of coleslaw.

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Menu card for a joint 50th and 21st birthday party in Kent – supplied by the Deli Truck

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Dennis Carving Jamon Ham off the bone guests

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Four very happy guests at the Deli Truck

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Queue outside the Deli Truck – Late night after dancing and drinking for a second helping of our specialities.

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Guests deep in concentration wondering what to order at the Deli Truck

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The Deli Truck on site in the Weald of Kent

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Preparation still going on – What a great idea – to turn an out side courtyard into a dancing tent with an ancient Olive tree centre stage. A magical room.

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Ready for service in a magical position just outside the main bar.